Directory of buttheads

I did it finally. 

I have been thinking about it for a long time but finally took the plunge and registered www.butthead.ca.

It will be a really simple website. A place where you can register the licence plate of a “butthead” — you know the ones who cost us a lot of money flicking cigarettes into the grass from their car, motor bike, pedal bike or just walking.

It will be available for everyone to see and maybe will become useful if a fire starts in a particular area on a particular day. Feel free to post pics and dates when the site is up.

So far in this current fiscal year, April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, we have already had 176 forest fires with 1,754 hectares of forest burned. That is a staggering statistic for a little over a month into the fire year. 

As Forestry continues to staff and the province juggles funds to pay, it is remarkable that fires continue to be started by people. On average, 40% of fires are human caused. 

As much as global climate fluctuations may change the nature of the fire and the length and dryness of the season, there is no doubt that we could save a huge amount of taxpayer money by not starting the fires ourselves.

If people want to smoke, I have no issue, but be responsible and dispose of your butt in a container, not in the wild or even on the ground in the city. 

So butt out and stop starting fires or risk being a butthead.

When to quit?

For an entrepreneur, the inevitable question comes up at some point: Is it time to quit?

What I find interesting is that the veil through which we make the statement changes once we are running a business compared to when we conceived the business.

At the start, we are visioning something that does not yet exist. It is a dream, a wish, an illusion.

As any entrepreneur will be forced to do, we look at the forecast business as realistically as possible, trying to predict failure points, challenges cash flow issues etc.

The problem is that we are not realists. If we were, we would probably apply for a job.

But entrepreneurs are visionaries. So what causes the vision to fade and the question to rattle around your head: should I quit?

From the day a business is conceived, it is met with negativity and rejection. That is why.

Those comments typically come from realists, the people who are not visionary or risk takers.

An entrepreneur will push on regardless. But, at some point, the realists are right…

  • the cash flow is not what was expected,
  • the bills aren’t being paid on time
  • he list goes on and it becomes exhausting mentally. 

Then the entrepreneur sits down with a mentor and says “should I quit?”

A good mentor, in my mind, will go back to the genesis and ask, why did you start?

If the ideals still hold value, the knowledge that the journey was going to be difficult existed just as much then as it does now.

The difference is the chorus of people trying to “make your life easy” by suggesting you quit. It is a little like telling the Olympic runner who did not finish first to take up another sport. 

Give me a break.

There is often a time to quit, but not when the going gets tough. The pragmatic time to quit is when no recovery is possible.

A pivot may be required to recover, but entrepreneurs are good at that; holy smokes, we conceived something out of nothing. 

So next time you see a business owner, tell them how proud you are because, just occasionally, they need uplifting too.

A couch for all occasions

Last week, en route from Holland back to North America, I had the opportunity to check in on a friend in Maryland.

After flying together in his Autogyro MTO Sport, we went back to his hangar and sat on his couch. 

Obviously, Frank had been impacted by the desire to “electrify” everything and move toward autonomous driving.

This was where Frank revealed his grand plan.

His hangar couch was no longer going to be a static display. He wanted a mobile couch, one on which he could navigate the taxi ways at the airport and wave at friends as they departed for a flight. 

He could also wave at people in very official meetings in the airport as he rolled past the windows on his couch. 

Not only had he conceived a plan, he had also found an amazing deal on a motorized wheelchair that was just about to be de-constructed to allow the motor and motor control to be mounted in his couch. 

Sadly, I could not hang around for the conversion, but anything that sounds slightly mad and half baked appeals to me. 

Frank did not disappoint. After my return home, the very next day, I saw video on his Facebook page of the converted couch.

If you are craving for a spring DIY project, I would highly recommend it, I think everyone needs a motorized couch.

Check out his video here https://youtu.be/fdV7BXXEzcE

To find out more about Frank’s crazy adventures, reach out to him on Facebook @Gyromojo


'How are you feeling?'

I have lived my whole life as an entrepreneur. It has never been easy to Integrate business into family life and do my best to ensure that there was a father or husband at home. 

For those who live that life today, my hat's off to you, it is not easy. The same could, of course, be said of a busy career or job. The last thing I wanted was to be so invested in my businesses that I would end up with pictures of multiple former wives on my desk. 

After 40 years of running my own businesses, you would perhaps assume I had figured it all out. The truth is likely the opposite and I find myself with lots to learn still. 

A little over a week ago, we experienced a close family death. We are still dealing with various arrangements and legalities and I have been travelling.

In business, I like to make a decision and move on. I am not the type of person to dwell on the facts after absorbing and analyzing them. I would rather analyze, decide and execute and then move on. 

There is a sensitivity to operating at home like that also. In business, nobody really says “how are you feeling?” 

It is the rare EQ balance to IQ that is ever present at the business table, yet in a family, perhaps more time needs to be spent asking that question. 

My wife has been incredibly strong through this recent family loss. It is easy for me to look at her as a business partner and assume she has just “analyzed, decided and executed” and, to a certain extent, she has. 

I have been travelling overseas since the day after the family loss and I realized that in all my calls to home, it has been “business as usual." Not once did I really ask my wife “how are you feeling?” 

The truth was, I found out that she was feeling sad and perhaps a little lonely. I felt guilty for not spending more time on the phone chatting about how she felt as opposed to simply making decisions about an order of service or a power point slide show. 

Grief takes time and it affects all of us differently and, frankly, many of us in business have a habit of quickly walking through a period of grief as if we have “dealt with it." In fact, it can come back and surprise us that we have emotions and feelings we may not have resolved. 

I look forward to getting home in a few days to give my wife a hug and simply ease the burden a little more than I can when I am away.

Living as a family and raising children is not a simple decision, it is a complex responsibility that demands much more of us than we may be used to giving as business leaders, managers or employees. 

I just need to remember to change hats a little more often and be careful about what role I am in.

More It's All About . . . articles

About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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